I was reading recently about the spot checks on illegal immigrants. Various people have taken exception to how these occurred, and to whether they were actually even legal. This bit of the article leapt out at me though:
Last month Mr Justice Blake said the policy was a disproportionate interference in people’s lives and suggested the income threshold should be lowered from around £18,000 to £13,000. Legal documents submitted by May in appeal, and obtained by the Observer, hit out at the courts by claiming Blake had committed “the error of usurping the role of the democratically accountable decision maker in the formulation of policy“.
In 90 weeks time, on 7th May 2015, the politicians of the UK will be held to democratic account.
Except they won’t. We only vote for the house of commons. And our first past the post system means that in many areas, the majority of voters will be unrepresented. The 836 members of the House of Lords, each entitled to £300 for each day they turn up to work, regardless of whether they actually do any work, or just sit around having a bit of a chat with their friends, are not accountable at all. You can do nothing to select them, recall them, and precious little to influence them.
At the moment, even Lords who have been jailed, can’t be removed, nor can the ones who live abroad, or just never turn up. Meaning that they *could* turn up if they felt so inclined, to overrule the government, or more likely, back it up.
Still feeling that our government is democratically accountable?
Instead, we have government by media. It is very difficult to get to the bottom of the situation in most cases, as politicians are happy to twist statistics and basically lie about the reality of the world around them, both to parliament and to the media, which is equally happy to twist and distort the situation. There are television shows which appear designed to spread misinformation and hype situations, and precious little actual action to reverse the growing inequality of our society.
I’m fed up with just ranting about this on here. I’m wondering about taking more direct, real action. I was approached to stand for local government by the local lib dems a little while back – I’m afraid with the way they’ve behaved in power I was very pleased that I turned that offer down. So I’m looking around at the other parties at the moment, to see what alternatives we really have. Business as usual in political terms isn’t working. Is it time for a really serious change, an imaginative approach to the situation? I’ve been massively impressed by Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton, so I’m starting my investigation with the Greens – the Citizen’s Income suggestion is a fascinating one.
Will you join me? Will you too *do* something, anything, to hold the politicians of this country to account, and make a real change to the systems that are all around us?